Shaft-tailed Whydah

Vidua regia (near-endemic)

This exquisite whydah is a near endemic species in Southern Africa and, like other whydahs, is also a brood parasite. It is unique in its appearance and is arguably the most beautiful of all whydahs, spending its time in open habitats and grasslands.

We first recorded and photographed this striking whydah in April 2011 while staying at a hunting camp near Nxai Pan, Botswana. They were regular visitors to the camps bird bath and were often accompanied by a collection of waxbills and whydahs, including their brood host, the violet-eared waxbill. Good spots for this species, not too far from Johannesburg, are the roads from Kgomo Kgomo village to Borakalalo National Park.


Shaft-tailed Whydah_Borakalalo National Park, South Africa_08 March 2014 BEST CR SM SH SH SH BL Shaft-tailed Whydah – Male / Nxai Pan, Botswana / 18 April 2011 Shaft-tailed Whydah_Borakalalo National Park, South Africa_08 March 2014 BEST 8 CR SM SH BL Shaft-tailed Whydah / Borakalalo National Park, North West Province, South Africa Shaft-tailed Whydah – female / Nxai Pan, Botswana / 18 April 2011 Shaft-tailed Whydah / Borakalalo National Park, North West Province, South Africa Shaft-tailed Whydah – male / Nxai Pan, Botswana / 18 April 2011 Shaft-tailed Whydah – male / Nxai Pan, Botswana / 18 April 2011
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